Sun, wind, and the rebirth of extractive economies: renewable energy investment and metanarratives of crisis in Greece

Nicolas Argenti, Daniel M. Knight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

In the midst of economic crisis, the Greek state has taken the unprecedented step of opening many of the nation's closed business sectors to international investors. Opportunities for multinational investment have been most prolific in the arena of renewable energy, where foreign prospecting in solar and wind energy is soaring. This article discusses two renewable energy initiatives: photovoltaic parks on agricultural land in Thessaly, central mainland Greece, and a planned wind farm development on the Aegean island of Chios. Among the people of Thessaly and Chios, the renewable energy initiatives are widely seen in terms of conquest and occupation akin to the Ottoman era and the Second World War. Harnessing natural resources is perceived to be a colonial programme of economic extraction associated with the global South as much as a sustainable energy initiative, heralding a return to a time of foreign occupation. This article examines the dialectical relationship emerging between narratives of renewable energy extraction and broader, long-standing conceptions of Greek identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)781-802
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Volume21
Issue number4
Early online date1 Oct 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

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